A 6M Digital Twin for Reservoirs

  • Tao Zhang

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Modeling and simulation of ow, transport and geo-mechanics in the subsurface porous media is an e ective approach to help make decisions associated with the management of subsurface oil and gas reservoirs, as well as in other wide application areas including groundwater contamination and carbon sequestration. Accurate modeling and e cient, robust simulation have always been the main purposes of reservoir researches, and a 6M digital twin (multi-scale, multi-domain, multi-physics and multi-numerics numerical modeling and simulation of multi-component and multiphase uid ow in porous media) is designed in this dissertation, using certain advanced models and algorithms equipped with pronounced features, to better digitally model and simulate the engineering processes and procedures in the physical reality of reservoirs and further control and optimize such processes and procedures. A comprehensive mathematical tool package is generated in the digital space, equipped with advanced models and algorithms regarding various numerical schemes including Navier-Stokes equations, LBM formulations and Darcy equation. Deep learning algorithms are incorporated in the digital space to accelerate certain time-consuming computations, for example, ash calculation and geological feature detection. A number of engineering processes are successfully re ected in the digital twin, in multiple simulation scales including in a single pore, in a porous media and in a pipeline/separator, to provide plenty of feedback to the physical entity of the industry. Finally, a complete digital twin with the 6M properties is concluded and certain promising extensions from our digital twin is organized. 5 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The last ve years of my student life will come to a conclusion, and I believe it is a successful one. When my dissertation is about to be completed, and when I am about to graduate, I want to express my gratitude to all the families, friends and mentors I met in the half decade. My deepest gratitude goes rst and foremost to Professor Shuyu Sun, my supervisor, who has walked me through all the stages in the learning and researches in PhD period with his careful guidance, continuing support and respectful example. Focusing on bene ting practical applications in petroleum industry, my work aims to build a bridge between the numerical methods in digital space and the engineering demand in physical world. Such a gap cannot be bridged successfully without the nurturing and leadership by an experienced and all-rounded scholar just like Prof. Sun. I would also like to acknowledge my friends and colleagues outside KAUST. Prof. Bo Yu, my main adviser in Master degree, and his team in BIPT have always been my good partners. Thanks should also go to Prof. Jianchao Cai, our closest collaborator outside KAUST. I also wish to recognize the assistance that I received from industries, including Manager Chenguang Li from CNPC and Mr. Hua Bai from PipeChina. They helped a lot in establishing the engineering scenarios for our numerical studies, and they are also my closest friends. Many thanks to Mr. Jihong Shi for your assistance and company when I was injured, and Dr. Yuze Zhang and Mr. Shuai Pang for your friendship and assistance in many ways. Finally, all my respect and love to my Mom, who has been always there supporting me with her profound belief on my abilities and relentless support to me to chase for my dreams. The world is going forward and will never stop, so as the life of us everyone's life. I wish I can always be humble and curious to touch the world and learn to live.
Date of AwardFeb 2021
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Physical Science and Engineering
SupervisorShuyu Sun (Supervisor)

Cite this